I like to think I am quite civilised. While most people hate hanging around airports and there are some who like to get there early for the shopping, I get to airports early to make sure I have checked in on time and can clear immigration and customs without any stress or rushing – OK, I also love to wander from gate to gate checking out the awaiting aircraft. I also adore airport lounges, whether they are included in the cost of your ticket such as on a Business Class flight, its a pay per use lounge like when I visited the Hub Lounge in Seoul, South Korea, or you have a guest pass to an airlines lounge, like I had here at the QantasClub, I will arrive early in order to relax, have a bite to eat and catch up with things online.
So, after I checked out of my Wellington hotel, and after trying a couple of delicious dumplings, I headed to the airport. The QantasClub at Wellington International Airport is airside open between 5:30am-7:00am and 1:00pm and 4:00pm. For my flight departing at 4:20pm, I arrived right on 1:00pm, yes thats right a full 3 hours and 20 minutes prior to departure. 🙂
I figured it would be a small space, you know, a smallish airport with only a few flights a day operated by the airline, but I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the lounge. Plenty of room to hide in a dark ‘I’m a celebrity’ corner, sit and bathe in the sun while overlooking the runway or get some work done at one of the few work stations.
As you first enter the lounge, you pass the food and beverage sections where a selection of hot and cold food and drinks are on offer. I found myself a a cosy spot near the window and headed back to the self service winebar for a glass of HaHa 2013 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc which was quite a nice drop.
There were also a variety of spirits and mixers available….I’ll try a couple of these later I thought, as I was really wanting to try the array of food.
There was some hot food, samosas and chicken satay sticks, but there were a little messy to eat, so it was the cold selection of fare that I really tucked into. Ham, salami, salads and sandwiches, bread rolls, cheeses and fresh fruit were all on offer.
Chicken club sandwiches, the hummus and vegetable sandwiches looked fresh and tasty as were the 2 salads on offer, a roasted vegetable with couscous and a flame grilled chicken salad.
For my first round, I plated up some of the couscous and enjoyed one of the hummus and vegetable club finger sandwiches. I also tried some of the cold cuts with a dash of salsa verde, which really lifted what could be a boring slice of ham and gave it some oomph.
The roasted vegetable and couscous salad was nice, the couscous fluffy and the vegetables cooked well with a hint of middle eastern spices though it, although I would have preferred this as a warm salad.
Before the second round of food (OK there were third and fourth rounds as well – the plates are small!) I opted for a Grants scotch on ice.
The best item on offer was the flame grilled chicken salad. The large chunks of juicy plump chicken had a smokey hint to them with a touch of heat and paprika colour worked well with the crisp greens and crunchy purple cabbage. I actually had a couple of serves of this dish.
The first of two Qantas flights departing Wellington this afternoon arrived from Sydney at 2.45pm and was then turning around to operate a flight to Melbourne. My aircraft, which came in from Melbourne at 3.30pm was turning around and operating my flight to Sydney at 4.20pm.
Although I was feeling full and slightly merry from the scotch, I had one last drink, a Bloody Mary and some Camembert cheese with quince paste prior to my flight being called. I’d had such a relaxing afternoon and when it was time to pack up and head to the aircraft, I was lead through a side door of the cub right to the aircrafts door. Very civilised!
FreakyFlier was given the QantasClub Guest Pass by a family member. FreakyFlier paid for his Qantas flight independently.